Nokia 3.1 Plus review: Top-notch design without the notch but there’s more

Yes, Nokia 3.1 Plus has excellent display and design but the phone is rather disappointing when it comes to performance. Read our full review of the latest budget Nokia smartphone.
| Updated on May 14 2021, 06:17 AM IST
Nokia 3.1 Plus takes on  Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, Redmi 6 Pro and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1
Nokia 3.1 Plus takes on  Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, Redmi 6 Pro and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 (HT Photo)

Brand: HMD Global
Product name: Nokia 3.1 Plus
Key specs: 6-inch HD+ display, 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel rear cameras, MediaTek Helio P22 octa-core processor,2GB/3GB RAM, Android One (Oreo), 3,500mAh battery
Price: 11,499
Rating: 3/5

HMD Global earlier this week launched a new budget smartphone, Nokia 3.1 Plus. Priced at 11,499, the smartphone is a budget smartphone which competes with Xiaomi's Redmi Note 5, Note 5 Pro, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, Realme 2 Pro . We've been using the smartphone for a while now, and here's our detailed review.

After using smartphones with a notch display, it felt a little weird and took some time adjusting to how the normal phone screen. In spite of skipping the notch in a large display, the smartphone doesn't have thicker bezels. It does have a large form factor though which may not appeal to everyone.

I particularly liked the implementation of power button and volume keys on the new Nokia 3.1 Plus. Usually, it's not a big element in smartphone reviews, but Nokia's is worth mentioning. It's slim and delivers a nice haptic feedback. Nokia 3.1 Plus features matte finish on its aluminium body. A similar design can be seen on the Honor Play smartphone. Nokia 3.1 Plus isn't as good looking as its siblings, but has a nice look and feel.

The 6-inch HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18:9 is the highlight of the smartphone. Overall, it was a good experience and the large display does help enhance the video streaming experience. The display quality is crisp with the right amount of colour reproduction indoors and outdoors.

Another highlight of the smartphone is its 3,500mAh battery. HMD Global promises two-day battery life on the Nokia 3.1 Plus. During our usage, Nokia 3.1 Plus didn't last that long. That said, battery life isn't bad though on this phone and you can use the phone for almost a day before it the battery hits the critical low-level. A day-long battery life is not a bad thing at all for a budget smartphone.

One problem which I faced on the Nokia 3.1 Plus was that it didn't provide a smooth performance. Although powered by MediaTek's Helio P22 processor, the smartphone is a little slow. Shifting through many apps at the same time would cause the phone to slow down or even crash sometime. Smartphones at the same price range like Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 don't compromise on the performance.

Nokia 3.1 Plus comes with a large screen without a notch
Nokia 3.1 Plus comes with a large screen without a notch (HT Photo)

For photography, Nokia 3.1 Plus has a dual-camera setup of 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors. In terms of camera performance, Nokia 3.1 Plus is average. The dual cameras offer depth focus on photos which can be adjusted with the 'Live Bokeh' feature. Selfies were slightly better than the photos taken from the rear cameras. Honor 9N offers would be a better pick for good photography.

Camera sample of Nokia 3.1 Plus.
Camera sample of Nokia 3.1 Plus. (HT Photo)

Nokia 3.1 Plus runs on Android 8.1 Oreo. On the software front, you get stock Android paired with Google's Android One platform. The smartphone offers a fluid Android experience with a simple and clean UI.

Nokia 3.1 Plus impresses us with its unique design and build quality. Performance, however, is rather disappointing. Camera can also be a lot better. At price point, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 or Redmi 6 Pro and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 are better alternatives. ALSO READ: Nokia 6.1 Plus review

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First Published Date: 14 Oct, 11:47 AM IST
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